Help

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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padsnd
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Help

Postby padsnd » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:47 pm

Just a thought on this. I don't remember which "expert" said this, but I've heard it said that often people get stuck at the age where they first encounter sexuality.

My other thought is that not all porn is equal. I often hear people say something about porn giving you _____ view of sexuality. The fact is that there is porn that is written, images, videos, etc. But, there is also porn that places the man as always the initiator, the woman as always the imitator, or both. In fact that even exists in romances too, and the effect of one believing the lies portrayed by those extremes is often very damaging to a relationship. You seem to be assuming he would know what to do. Depending on the variety of porn he viewed, he may be doing it--waiting for the woman to come on to him fully.

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hifromme67
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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:51 pm

I wonder why that is. I have told our counselor before but this was before the porn was discovered.

Not sure if you have read my other posts but he does not like me to initiate. He feels pressured when I do. If I wait for him to initiate, we will just continue waiting. His way of him initiating is wanting me to do all the kissing, touching, etc. I'm assuming he has viewed porn throughout our entire marriage but the last two years have been up and down and the last year very obvious changes to our sex life.

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Re: Help

Postby poetess » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:48 pm

Wait--how does YOU doing all the work mean HIM initiating? In my mind, the initiator is the aggressor (at least initially).
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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:11 pm

I guess he thinks that if he wants it then he is initiating. If I initiate, it means I want it and he has a problem with that because he thinks I want it everyday.


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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:40 pm

So we talked some today about him not showing affection and also about our sex issues. He told me that he can't explain it but I want him to control his urges (porn) but yet I want him to be sexual. I asked him if he meant that he doesn't know how to separate the two and he said that's not what he meant. He said he couldn't explain. He said it had nothing to do with me and he knows the difference between porn and real sex. Basically I think our sex life is screwed up for good.


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doug-h
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Re: Help

Postby doug-h » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:21 am

hifromme,

I have probably written 3 or 4 responses to your posts this week, because I wanted to offer you some encouragement, some possible explanations, that would take some of the hurt away. In the end, none of them would have done any good, and were probably subconsciously only intended to salve my own conscience for the offenses I have commited, so I deleted them.

It occured to me that if I am still working thru the guilt and grief of what I did, long after I know that I have been forgiven both by Christ, and by my wonderful wife, and that it still has such a powerful hold on my heart, it is likely that your husband is struggling with things himself. It is better for me, but it has taken a lot of time, a lot of prayer, and a Circle of Believers who minister to me, in much the way I seem to have been called to sometimes minister to others. Still, in my quiet time alone, and sometimes just out of the blue in the middle of the day, that guilt can come crushing down on me, as heavy a burden as it ever was. The relief is that it happens less and less, not that the weight is lighter.

That is about the only thing I have to offer in the way of encouragement. It does get better. It might take awhile, but I want you to believe the part I highlighted is nothing more than Satans lie to hold you both back.

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Re: Help

Postby Nvr2Late » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:13 am

hifromme, have you checked out the site http://www.yourbrainonporn.com yet? Apologies if you are familiar with it and I missed it.
Of course your DH doesn't know how to explain to you what's going on. Porn really is a drug - a self-administered cocktail of chemicals to the brain and those chemicals affect every area of your life. And he's still under the influence.

He's not going to understand for a long time, and for that matter, you either....but I do hope your counselor will be a big help. In the meantime you will need to educate yourself, and be patient. His explanation about "initiation" is an example of how confused he must be. The initiator in the sexual relationship is the one who takes the lead, gets the ball rolling and keeps it rolling if need be.

I guess he thinks that if he wants it then he is initiating. If I initiate, it means I want it and he has a problem with that because he thinks I want it everyday.


He told me that he can't explain it but I want him to control his urges (porn) but yet I want him to be sexual.


You want him to be a normal husband to you and there's nothing wrong with that, so don't personalize his issue. I've read a lot about couples in SA treatment being advised to abstain completely from sex for a season until these things can be dealt with and healed. I wonder if you guys might not be candidates? Just thinking out loud, please understand. Has your (or his) therapist/counselor suggested anything like this?
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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:46 am

doug-h, please don't feel the need to delete your posts. I really look forward to hearing from you. The only thing that keeps me going is advice from people in the same situations. I have nobody to turn to other than my therapist and my best friend.

I do understand that it will take time but right now I just don't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Re: Have counseling session tomorrow

Postby doug-h » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:44 pm

Thank you for your kind words, but really, I think most of my words were subconsciously written to me. I did go back tho, and re-visit your entire thread, with your most recent thoughts in mind, and one thing struck me as possibly relevant. I don't know how it might help you, or even if it is relevant, but it is what I noticed.
hifromme67 wrote:So we talked some today about him not showing affection and also about our sex issues. He told me that he can't explain it but I want him to control his urges (porn) but yet I want him to be sexual. I asked him if he meant that he doesn't know how to separate the two and he said that's not what he meant. He said he couldn't explain. He said it had nothing to do with me and he knows the difference between porn and real sex. Basically I think our sex life is screwed up for good.
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hifromme67 wrote:He has had ED for many years and has been prescribed various meds for it in the past. He has probably within the last year felt as if he couldn't fulfill me sexually because of the ED and the fact that he could not maintain an erection or wasn't endowed enough for me. I know that this has been a really sore subject for him. When I discovered the porn last week, I made him tell me what kindnof porn he was watching and searching for. He refused at first and was very angry. He then blurted it out. He had been watching well-endowed men satisfy women because he isn't able to do that to me.


Is it possible that he withdraws from your advances, not because of his pornography use, but because it puts pressure on him. Is he possibly afraid that he will not be able to perform, and therefore be an even bigger disapointment to you? There is a lot said about pornography use, that I have not found to be consistant with my own experience, so I hesitate to make an automatic connection to the behavior you describe, and pornography. On the other hand, I have read many instances of men suffering from ED, reacting in similar ways to what you describe.

I'm not saying that to let him off the hook for what he did. It was wrong, and it is bound to have some consequences. On the other hand. It is possible that the behavior you are describing has absolutely nothing to do with it, and focusing on that entirely may not be beneficial, and might even make things worse.

Again, I don't know. I just think there is more than one thing going on here, and it might be beneficial to examine more than possible explanation.

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Re: Help

Postby Cayenne » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:55 pm

Like Doug, I have wanted to respond several times.... In my case, I don't know what to say that will help. My situation, even though it has a few similarities, is also very different.

I know from my experience, there are times when it feels like the pain will never end. I hear your pain, and I wish I could give you comfort.

I know there are so many fears. They can crop up when you least expect it. For me, it helps sometimes to just let myself cry. Some weeks, I cry every day.

But what helps me most of all, is reading to understand what happens in a man's mind when he becomes addicted to porn. Just like substance abuse, there are chemical changes in his brain that make him illogical, unreasonable, and unable to fix himself - just like happens to substance abusers. A previous commenter referenced a good source to read about this, if you haven't already. I went through every page of the Covenant Eyes blog, reading every article that was relevant. It took weeks. That's where I found the link to here.

I would never minimize the sin of porn, or justify its continued use. Never. At the same time, we do have to recognize the facts of the addictive cycle. We as wives cannot make the changes for him. He has to be shaken to a point where he is willing to wake up, and make the changes for himself. Then it will take time (months) away from porn to fully break the dependencies in his brain, and only then will he be able to begin to return normal thinking. From there, he needs help to restructure his behavior patterns. There are very likely other issues that will need to be addressed as well.

If I were in your shoes, I would be discussing with my counselor what reasonable boundaries would be for you to put in place to protect you. For my DH, he had a choice... Porn or me. As far as I can tell, he hasn't looked back. It's a good start, but recovery still has to happen.

I remember reading somewhere that recovery can take up to 3 years. Hold on, determine your boundaries, keep getting help, and be patient.... Not easy, I know. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

P.S. I think Nvr2Late hit some very important points that I agree fully with.
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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:07 pm

It's so very hard to work on things and move forward. For those that have been addicted, is it a lifetime struggle to stay away? I don't know if I can live like that and put my life on hold. I don't know what to do. Since we are at the start of his treatment, how will I know just how bad his addiction is?


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Re: Help

Postby doug-h » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:11 pm

I have only been clean a little over 8 months, but I have not been tempted beyond a passing, easily dismissed thought. I would hesitate to even call it a temptation, more of just a habitual way of thinking, that is almost completely gone.

Is he struggling now, or are you concerned about future struggles that might never occur?
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Re: Help

Postby SeekingChange » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:14 pm

My husband has shared that he "never thought [he] would be free" and that it would "always be a struggle and temptation" because it was for so many years, but he now shares that he is free. He feels no temptation or urge to go look at porn, ever. So, it is possible to be completely free, but it's a process. Is there any sin you've struggled with that instantaneously disappeared as soon as you wanted to change? I, personally, have never experienced that, so it helps me to be more understanding of other people's struggles.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Help

Postby be64 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:42 pm

I've never had what I would consider a porn addiction but over tha past couple of years I've had occational intentional use of pornography. I have said elsewhere here that I have a desire for my wife to perform some BDSM on me. Curiosity on the subject got me looking at pictures and short video clips. My wife doesn't want to get into that so I think I was fulfilling my BDSM desires vicariously by viewing it. It was not frequent intense use, only a few minutes occasionally. I could see a pattern of increasing use building so I came clean with my wife and church leader a couple of months ago and have not viewed any since. However I will say that I still have a strong desire to view it. Only a strong determination to keep away from it has kept me away. I hope the temptation will diminish over time, but I think it will always be there.
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Re: Help

Postby Cayenne » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:49 pm

hifromme67 wrote:It's so very hard to work on things and move forward. For those that have been addicted, is it a lifetime struggle to stay away? I don't know if I can live like that and put my life on hold. I don't know what to do. Since we are at the start of his treatment, how will I know just how bad his addiction is?


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I can't speak from the point of view of the porn addicted, but I will tell you that I have read many stories from people who say it's possible to be free. I have to believe that, because I, like you, cannot deal with the thought of living that way forever. I really clung to those stories earlier on. It's getting better now, and I'm starting to feel like I have a grasp on my emotions more of the time. Thankfully.... I don't carry the role of emotional wreck well.

I think your comment about putting your life on hold is important. At first, this may happen, but as soon as we get through the "discovery phase", we need to begin to pursue our own separate healing. It is possible for us to heal independently of our porn using husbands, but like someone else here said about it being a process for them.... It is also a process for us.

Your counselor should be able to help you with how badly addicted he is. There are diagnostic tools available. That said, degree of addiction only relates to what may need to be done to achieve complete freedom, it doesn't effect whether or not freedom is possible. Freedom hinges on his choice today.... Not on how bad he got.

If you happen to feel your counselor isn't addressing your needs, there no reason you can't look for another one who might work better. Counselors come with personalities too, and sometimes different personalities mesh better with us. I'm a strong personality.... I need someone who will tell me like it is, while others may need a gentler approach.

I know this is very hard.... I'm only a few months out from initial discovery myself... I well remember the days it felt painful just to breathe. Hold on, friend. It will get better.
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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:23 am

I'm so crushed this morning. So DH has his workbook that he works on go his addiction. He always tells me to read it and doesn't hide it. It's been about his childhood, etc. The last page he worked on had to do with his spouse. It was a check off assignment with you answering agree, sometimes, disagree, or N/A. One of the questions was if he was attracted to me emotionally and physically. He answered "sometimes." I was so crushed. I felt as if a knife had gone through my heart. I texted him and told him I could not believe what I just read and now I understand why he watched porn and didn't want sex. I told him you can't have sex with something you're not attracted to. He claims it has nothing to do with that and that he answers those with what he is feeling at that moment. Either way, it's a [edit] way to answer but I'm glad I saw it. I can't be with someone who doesn't find me attractive.


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Re: Help

Postby poetess » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:31 am

Hifromme,

Pause. Take a deep breath. He did not say he doesn't find you attractive, or even that he rarely finds you attractive. He said "sometimes" which means that sometimes he doesn't. Are you never unattractive? Never hormonal, smelly, etc.?
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Re: Help

Postby Cayenne » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:38 am

Are you getting help for yourself?

One of my cardinal rules.... Don't ask questions unless you are ready to handle the answer. I think of the worst probable response first....

What am I getting at? I think you are in a very fragile state right now, which is totally understandable. I would be very careful about reading that workbook of his until you are ready to read it from a position of strength, instead of fragility. My husband is doing the 40 days to overcome app.... I have not been reading his responses, even though they are 100% available to me. I will probably read them eventually, but for now he needs to be able to answer honestly for his own recovery, and I need to be ready to take anything he said from a position of strength. That moment is not right now.
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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:40 am

With everything that we have gone through with the porn, that is the last thing I wanted to read. He didn't even try to explain. All he said was what does that have to do with porn? I can honestly say I am always attracted to him regardless of situation.


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Re: Help

Postby Cayenne » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:51 am

One other thought....

If he found you attractive 99% of the time, would you be upset?

If my DH said I was attractive 99% of the time, I'd be grateful, because I know I'm only attractive, say, 98% of the time. :wink: I'm not going to ask him that question, though, because he might say 97%...

If, indeed, your DH finds you attractive, say 99% of the time, the truthful answer to the question of you being attractive would be "sometimes". Would that really be so bad?

Breathe deep, give yourself (and him) some time to recover. And don't ask him what percentage of the time he was thinking of you being attractive, it doesn't actually matter. What matters is he cares enough to work on recovery in the first place.



hifromme67 wrote:He didn't even try to explain. All he said was what does that have to do with porn?


He doesn't think like you. To him, there may be no correlation.
Last edited by Cayenne on Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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